Ideas for Memorial Day Outings In and Out of the Triangle
Photo courtesy of WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest
Looking for ideas for things to do over the Memorial Day weekend? These three events celebrate and honor veterans for their service while providing fun for the whole family.
Enjoy a hot air balloon festival in Fuguay-Varina. The WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest on Memorial Day Weekend honors military veterans through a unique celebration of freedom by the bringing the community together to watch hot air balloons sail. Only a year old, the festival this year features 35 hot air balloons; live music; military equipment and interactive displays; food; 40,000 square feet of amusements geared for the kids; a craft beer and wine garden; and the Merchant, Arts & Crafts Village. The festival will take place in Fuquay-Varina's Fleming Loop Park! Check out the schedule page for details.
Take the train to the parade in Thomasville. NC By Train is offering a fun family trip for Memorial Day — an out-and-back-in-one-day trip to Thomasville on May 30 for the largest Memorial Day Parade in the Southeast. If your children have never ridden a train, this getaway could be just the ticket for a memorable family outing. Tickets are now on sale for travel on the Carolinian and Piedmont, which will make a special stop in downtown Thomasville at Salem and Randolph streets near the parade route. The parade starts at 10 a.m. and after it ends, enjoy free food and watch paratroopers arrive at Thomasville Stadium. For information about visiting the Memorial Day Parade in Thomasville and to make reservations, visit ncbytrain.org or call 800-BY-TRAIN. The city code for the special stop is TMV. A special 15 percent discount will be offered to veterans as well as active military members (use promotion code V706). Learn more.
Photo of courtesy of NC Department of Transportation
Step back in time at 'Memorial Day Soldier Salute.' Bennett Place historic Site in Durham will offer a special tribute to all who have served in the military on May 28-29, featuring living historians of America's military. The “Memorial Day Soldier Salute” will represent some of the first soldiers from the American Revolution, Union and Confederate soldiers of the American Civil War, Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders, dough boys of World War I and up to the War in Iraq. Military veterans also will bring displays of original artifacts and the uniforms they wore while in service. The free event will run Saturday, May 28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday, May 29, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Each day there will be a ceremony at the Unity Monument to pay tribute to all American military personnel throughout our nation's history. Learn more at bennettplacehistoricsite.com.
Revolutionary War Re-Enactors at Bennett Place (PHoto Courtesy of N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources)
Head to a N.C. zoo, aquarium or museum or historic site. Many N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources attractions offer discounts to active military personnel and their families to honor their service. details on military discounts, visit ncdcr.gov/military-history. Look below for a roundup of NCDNCR attractions, including operating hours and discount information:
- N.C. Aquariums (Roanoke, Pine Knoll Shores, Fort Fisher, Jeanette's Pier)
- Daily military discount, open Memorial Day
- N.C. Zoo (Asheboro)
- Daily military discount, open Memorial Day
- N.C. Museums of History and Natural Sciences (Raleigh)
- Free, military discounts to ticketed exhibits, open Memorial Day
- N.C. Museum of Art (Raleigh)
- Free,military discounts to ticketed exhibits, closed Memorial Day
- Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) (Winston-Salem)
- Free, military discounts to ticketed exhibits, closed Memorial Day
- State Parks and Recreation areas (Various locations throughout the state)
- Free, open Memorial Day
- State Historic Sites
- Mostly free, military discounts offered at CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center(Kinston) and N.C. Transportation Museum (Spencer); closed Memorial Day
- State Historic Commissions
- Mostly free, military discounts offered at Battleship NORTH CAROLINA(Wilmington, open Memorial Day) and Tryon Palace (New Bern, discounts daily, free on Memorial Day and Labor Day only, open Memorial Day))
- Museum of the Albemarle (Elizabeth City), Museum of the Cape Fear (Fayetteville)andMountain Gateway Museum (Old Fort)
- Free, closed Memorial Day
- N.C. Maritime Museum (Beaufort), N.C. Maritime Museum (Southport)and Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum (Hatteras)
- Free, only Beaufort is open Memorial Day